Adele Adkins (known only by her first name Adele) is a British R&B singer who has gained fame for her soulful vocal performances. She won Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Performance for "Chasing Pavements" from her album 19
at the 2009 Grammy Awards
The second album, 21
(2011) fared even better
, and she is flying high with the commercial and critical success. In the UK, Adele is the first living artist to achieve the feat of two top five hits in both the Official Singles Chart and the Official Albums Chart simultaneously since The Beatles
in 1964. 21
has also spent eleven consecutive weeks at No. 1, the longest ever by a female solo artist on the UK Albums Chart, surpassing Madonna
's nine weeks at number one back in 1990. On top of that the album has spent 23 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, more than any other female artist. At the 2012 Grammys, 21
awards, including Album, Record and Song of the Year. So not only did Adele tie Beyoncé
for the most Grammys won by a female artist in a single night, she became just the sixth person to win the "big three" in a single night and only the second artist to win all four General Field categories (Best New Artist + Big Three), a feat that hadn't been matched for thirty-one years.
Her success in North America came somewhat by a twist of fate. She was scheduled to perform on Saturday Night Live
in October 2008, the same night that featured Sarah Palin
as a guest star. The stunt with Palin gave SNL its highest ratings in years, and just so happened to expose Adele to a whole new audience. Her worldwide fame has only been growing since then.
She also sang the theme song for the James Bond
; said theme won the award for Best Original Song at the 70th Golden Globes (2013), the 56th Grammy Awards (2014) and the 85th Academy Awards
, becoming the first Bond theme singer to win an Oscar. In March 2013 it was announced that she will be singing the theme for the next Bond film, too.
Adele provides examples of:
- Arc Number: Actually, 21. See here for more.
- Audience Participation Song: "Rolling In the Deep" and "Someone Like You" as seen in her Live at the Royal Albert Hall concert video.
- Beehive Hairdo
- Breakup Song: Pretty much the entirety of 21. Justified, as it was written after a particularly messy breakup.
- Childhood Friend Romance: What "Someone Like You" is all about.
- Chronological Album Title: 19 and 21 both indicate how old she was when production started.
- Creator Breakdown: Probably inverted and justified. Adele was actually nervous when trying to come for songs for 21 because she wasn't getting many ideas. After writing one song about how she felt unappreciated by her (cheating) boyfriend, and having him listen to it, they fell out and she wrote down most of the songs for the album. "Someone Like You" was the also the result of not only her not wanting to always sound like a bitch but her confronting the fact that she isn't totally over him and he's married to someone else.
- Feed the Mole: Did this with her staff to find out who was leaking stories about her to the press.
- First Name Basis
- Heroic BSOD: In an interview, she remembers crying because of her vocal illness, and losing her voice.
- Heroic RROD: She's spent 2011 struggling with a vocal illness brought on partly by overtaxing her voice, which has forced her to cancel a lot of tour dates in America.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "I wish nothing but the best for you two..." A theme in "Someone Like You".
- Love Nostalgia Song: The very bittersweet "Someone Like You".
- Love Will Lead You Back: An unusually upbeat version of this in "I'll Be Waiting".
- Lyrical Dissonance: The "Lovesong" cover is one big example of this. "You make me feel like I'm home again" to some of the most darkest production ever
- Manic Pixie Dream Guy: The guy in "Daydreamer" seems to be this.
- New Sound Album: 21, arguably. "Rolling In the Deep" and "Rumour Has It", the leading two tracks, have a strong R&B/soul element similar to her first record... which is pretty much completely different in sound and style from the rest of the album.
- Odd Friendship: With rapper Tinie Tempah & flamboyant chat show host Alan Carr.
- The Rival: The British music press seems to be quite keen on setting her up as a rival to Lady Gaga. The singer herself doesn't seem to buy into it.
- Shout-Out: Her song, "I Found a Boy" uses the lyrics and the melody to the line "Stand By Me" and even used that title when it was in a work-in-progress. (Though lyrically, the songs are very different)
- The theme from Skyfall features a line, "You may have my number, you can take my name/But you will never have my heart", which may be a reference to a line from the Johnny Rivers song "Secret Agent Man" ("They've given you a number and taken away your name.")
- Singing Voice Dissonance: When she speaks, she retains her very strong East London accent, but you couldn't tell it from her singing voice.
- After she swept the 2012 Grammy Awards, "Fank you" trended worldwide on Twitter.
- The Something Song: She has covered "Lovesong" by The Cure.
- Spiritual Successor: To Amy Winehouse. A rare justified example.
- Also recognized as spiritual successor to Dame Shirley Bassey at the 2013 Oscars due to her success with the theme from Skyfall. Later further justified when it was announced a few weeks later that she is to become the first singer since Bassey to perform more than one Bond film theme.
- She herself openly loathes this notion, however, claiming that she only shares with other British singers like Amy the "gender, not the genre".
- Super Group: As part of "Truth+Soul" with Amy Winehouse and Aloe Blacc for the L.A. Noire soundtrack.
- What Does He See In Her: The other woman in "Rumour Has It".
- Woman in Black: There's barely a concert where she doesn't wear a black dress.
- Woman Scorned: "Rolling In the Deep". The song may acknowledge that she can't be in a relationship anymore but her rage is still there.
- Younger than They Look: Does she look like she's only 24? She doesn't even sound like she's only 24. She sounds like 44, having gone through four bad marriages, three different rehabs and two health scares.